Paul Guenther is reportedly employed by an NFL team again, with Tom Pelissero reporting on Wednesday that he has been hired as a senior defensive assistant with the Minnesota Vikings.
The #Vikings are hiring Paul Guenther as a senior defensive assistant, sources tell me and @RapSheet. The former #Bengals and #Raiders DC worked with Mike Zimmer for six years in Cincinnati and knows that scheme well.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 10, 2021
The move got praise as a “big hire” by Ian Rapoport.
A big hire for the #Vikings, as Paul Guenther brings plenty of experience to the Minnesota defense. He had several offers, but Mike Zimmer’s persistence in pursuing Guenther paid off. https://t.co/x6Ba156D6l— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 10, 2021
Surely, you’re not impressed and, yes, you have reason to doubt it.
Guenther, who came to the Raiders with head coach Jon Gruden in 2018, was fired with three games remaining the 2020 season last December. The Raiders’ defense struggled under Guenther in 2018, ‘19 and in ‘20, despite the team adding top free-agency money and valuable draft picks to the unit the past two offseasons.
Having worked with Gruden’s younger brother, Jay, in Cincinnati, Guenther had a solid reputation as a defensive coordinator while with the Bengals.
Clearly, Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer didn’t hold his work with the Raiders against him. The two worked together in Cincinnati and Zimmer believes in Guenther.
The truth is, many Raiders fans were excited about the hiring of Guenther in 2018 just as many were about Ken Norton Jr. when he got the job in 2015. Neither worked out and both were whipping boys of the fan base.
Yes, Guenther was a failure with the Raiders, but here’s to him getting his career back on track with the Vikings.